WWE’s annual Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view is taking place this Sunday night on the WWE Network, and the show will be headlined by the TLC match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which will feature Sheamus defending against Roman Reigns.
While Roman Reigns will eventually win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, he won’t be winning it this coming Sunday night.
WWE taped their annual Tribute to the Troops show on Tuesday, which will air on December 23, and all of WWE’s current champions, including Sheamus, appeared at the event with their respective championships, which suggests that there won’t be any title changes this coming Sunday night.
For what it’s worth, before the NXT Takeover special in Brooklyn this past summer, Kevin Owens, who was challenging Finn Balor for the NXT Championship at the event, appeared in front of the live crowd at Full Sail University with the NXT Championship during the NXT tapings which were scheduled to air after the event, which was clearly WWE’s attempt to make the fans think that Owens was going to win the NXT Title, when the plan was for him to lose. So, there’s a possibility that WWE may be doing that with Sheamus and all of the other champions at Tribute to the Troops.
After Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Roman Reigns at Survivor Series, the feeling was that the two would have a series of rematches — one at this Sunday’s TLC, where Reigns would somehow get screwed out of winning the title again, another at the Royal Rumble in January, where Reigns would finally overcome The Authority and win the WWE World Title, and the third and final match would take place at February’s Fast Lane show, where Reigns would successfully defend his title against Sheamus and get ready to face the Royal Rumble winner at WrestleMania, which presumably will be either John Cena or Brock Lesnar.
The decision to hold off Reigns’ WWE Title win until the Royal Rumble is based on one simple thing: WWE’s December pay-per-views usually haven’t drawn much attention. In fact, the month of December has traditionally been the worst month for the company in terms of fan interest, and this year has been no exception.
The Royal Rumble show is generally a show that gets a lot of attention, which is why Reigns will likely win the title at that show.
There is some internal concern that Reigns failing to win the WWE Title at TLC will be one failure too many and that, after the show, the fans will go from either loving or hating him to simply not caring about him.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has often compared the Roman Reigns situation to what WWE was doing with Lex Luger in the summer of 1993. Luger, who was receiving a monster push at the time, was set to challenge Yokozuna for the WWE Championship. Many believed at the time that SummerSlam 1993 was the perfect time to put the title on Luger. Long story short, Luger won the match, but by count out, which meant that he didn’t win the WWE Championship. Because he failed, the fans were no longer interested in seeing him at the top of the card.
WWE’s idea for Reigns is to have him fail over and over again before he finally is able to win the big one. The idea is to build sympathy for him, much like they accidentally did for Daniel Bryan in 2013 and 2014. It hasn’t worked so far, but, like with anything else in wrestling, time will tell. And who knows, maybe by the time WrestleMania rolls around, Roman Reigns will be exactly where the company wants him to be.
[Featured image via WWE]